Maxwell’s Corner Old and New

The older photo shows what was later to be called Maxwell’s Corner, by just about everybody. It was taken in 1913.

The newer photo is a comparison from a much later date.

I consider Maxwell’s Corner to be a landmark building in Stockton, it is certainly a reference point, many of us will have said “It’s just past Maxwell’s Corner” or “It’s at the Maxwell’s Corner end of the High Street”.

The old Empire Theatre served the same purpose, in fact I still think of the area around the Swallow Hotel as the Empire End, things from your formative years tend to remain with you.

Does anybody know when the “Maxwell’s Corner” sign was first painted onto the building?

In the older photo there are two people in the window to the right, closer inspection of the newer photo shows that there are two people in the same window, excepting they are sitting down.

The building has barely changed over the years, the frontages have been brought up to date and different paint jobs have been done, but nothing of note has changed.

Photo and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

12 thoughts on “Maxwell’s Corner Old and New

  1. I remember this shop well, having to get my Richard Hind school uniform there in 1966. I recall refusing point blank to wear the obligatory cap, or carry a satchel . We got almost everything that I needed from the same shop including the sports kit. We eventually went to The Army and Navy stores to get me a Grey rucksack (haversack), and Wm Leng for a pair of football boots, which if I remember correctly were Gola.


  2. I’ve seen reference to a mansion at the north end of Stockton owned by several principal Stockton families, Major John Jenkins (an ally of Cromwell), afterwards the Raisbeck’s (1675), and the Tennants. Could Central Buildings be the site of this mansion? as an old map shows the whole of the site being a garden next to a building called “North Lodge”?


  3. My Mam bought me my first two piece suit there some time in the 50s. it was blue if you can believe it. As for now, what a great place for a good restaurant, not bar, if the Globe ever opens .


  4. We can only assume that the crowd is there for the “great sale”? so this must be on or after the 29th Nov 1913. That doesn’t leave long for the shop to be rebranded in 1913, so maybe the Maxwell’s sign was painted in 1914? The shop was previously the location of the “Cash Elephant Stores”, which had a statue of an elephant on the roof. “Elephant Corner” would have made a much more interesting name for this landmark building!


  5. My brother, Denis Wright and his great friend Lionel Danby both worked at Maxwells on a Saturday and during the school holidays whilst they attended Grangefield Grammar. It always felt full of old world charm whenever I went in there.
    We used to stand on Maxwells corner to see Father Christmas go past on his way to Robinson’s grotto, happy days.


  6. I was fitted with my first long trousers at Maxwells, around 1952 Seems ridiculous by modern standards, but it was very much a rite of passage in thise days


  7. I lived above Maxwell’s shop from 1942 until 1946 with my motther and great-aunt. I think my great-aunt may have been the bookerkeeper or cashier for the shop . We went through the shop on the first floor into the living quarters behind . Bedrooms and bathroom were on the second floor


  8. On and old map of the area what became Maxwells was a Sail Making factory and behind just green fields with a few houses off Norton Road.
    With the coming of the many Iron Works and then the Gas works came the housing. Engineering works the Steam engine and the Railways would put an end to Sailmaking other types of manufacture would then take place in the old building.
    Way back in 1940 I got my School uniforms from Maxwells and also the Scout uniform, I was always in awe as we went upstairs ti the fitting rooms at that time to be met by an assistant who was always very respectful and knew how to butter up Mother so she always bought more than she had intended.
    “Dear Lady young Sir will need two pairs of short trousers, one to wear one to wash”. We have the special long stockings to wear with the short trousers a turn over top and how about the the garters with a little pennon to set them off. “Oh and of course two school ties as they tend to spill soup on them at School lunch you can keep a clean one aside” we had to wear short trousers until we were fourteen the last two years longs, it was school rules and we accepted that.
    Maxwells fitted out myself my children and grandchildren it was a service for all the schools and I must admit you were always served politely and well, it felt upmarket and the clothes were good.
    Many shops in Stockton at that time had that kind of service, I would ask what happened in this wear it once throw away era we seemed to be in now with grumpy people saying “Take it or leave it what do I care”?
    Not everything changed for the better.


  9. When I first attended Grangefield Grammar we had to buy our school uniforms from Graham Gardiner of Leicester who came into school from time to time to take measurements/orders. By the time I was in third year (mid 1960’s) we could get most of our uniform from Maxwells 😊


  10. I remember the August visit for school uniforms….purple for St Johns primary, and black for Stockton grammar…..trips to be endured, as it meant summer holidays were ending


  11. What a great photo capturing the last days of this shop trading as John Peckston’s, having one last sale before E.S. Maxwell took over. You can only guess that the Maxwell’s Corner sign was painted just after that? and with the sign advertising a “great sale” on 29th November (which must explain the crowded scene) it must have been painted in or after Dec 1913, more likely 1914?
    Prior to being Peckston’s this was the “Elephant Cash Stores”, which was topped with a statue of an elephant! (
    Shame it didn’t survive, “The Elephant” corner would of been a much more interesting name!


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